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Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivations for Tax Compliance: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Germany

Nadja Dwenger, Henrik Kleven, Imran Rasul () and Johannes Rincke ()

American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2016, vol. 8, issue 3, 203-32

Abstract: We study extrinsic and intrinsic motivations for tax compliance in the context of a local church tax in Germany. This tax system has historically relied on zero deterrence so that any compliance at baseline is intrinsically motivated. Starting from this zero deterrence baseline, we implement a field experiment that incentivized compliance through deterrence or rewards. Using administrative records of taxes paid and true tax liabilities, we use these treatments to document that intrinsically motivated compliance is substantial, that a significant fraction of it may be driven by duty-to-comply preferences, and that there is no crowd-out between extrinsic and intrinsic motivations.

JEL-codes: C93 D64 H26 H71 K34 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150083
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